This is a modified version of the original.
The original version was much too offensive and I’ve only shown it to people I trust.
Hopefully, you will forgive me and enjoy this version just as well.
Here it is without further ado:
I’ve been working hard all day, but finally, it’s time for my fifteen-minute break. Happy to have a little relaxation, I clock out and walk to the covered terrace in the chilly December weather.
As I sit down on my break, I ponder to myself, “Why did I take this God-awful job in the first place?”
Then after a half-minute of pondering, I check my Go Phone for text messages.
There are two:
The first one reads, “It’s the first day of Winter, my favorite season. I think Winter is so romantic, especially now that I have you in my life.”
The second one reads, “Come get me when you’re done with work. I love you so much, baby.”
So, I reply, with the utmost honesty, “I love you too, baby and I count the hours when we are apart.” I send another message, “I’ll come get you as soon as my work is done, but I don’t know when that will be.”
Within a matter of seconds, I get a reply, “Just as long as you come get me, I’ll wait all night if I have to.”
My coworkers notice the bliss in my eyes.
The janitor, listening to foreign music on a portable world band radio, lowers the volume and asks, “Talking to your girlfriend?”
I nod at him.
“Is she pretty?” He continues.
“She is absolutely beautiful. I’m so grateful to have her in my life.” I tell him with much assuredness, then show a picture of her and I standing by the river.
He looks at the picture then says, “Wow, she sure is pretty! You and her could make beautiful children.”
“No, I haven’t been intimate with her yet. She deserves my utmost reverence,” I tell him soberly.
“You’re a good man.” The janitor says, smiling as he pats my hand.
The deli cook, also on break with us, has been quiet, up until this point. Now she is ready to pick a fight.
She looks up from her smartphone and remarks, with anger and contempt, “I bet she’s really nasty, but just pretends to be innocent with you.”
I try to keep calm and simply reply, “Nope. Actually she is a virgin. And so am I.”
The cook continues, asking, “How old is she?”
“None of your damn business. How about you get a life?”
The cook pulls a boxcutter out of her apron pocket and says, “You better not be disrespectful to me.”
I still try to maintain grace under pressure and say, “Why harm me because of someone whom I love with all my heart and who loves me in return?”
I then point to the security camera with a sign below that reads, “Every move you make is being recorded on video.”
I then say, “You’ve already committed assault with a deadly weapon and it was all caught on video. Smile for the camera! I suggest you leave me alone.”
“This isn’t over little boy! I know why you won’t tell me her age because she’s jail bait. I should call the police on you!”
“Whom are they actually going to believe? I’m not known for going around threatening physical violence upon whomever I disagree with but you are. Furthermore, I haven’t done anything illegal with her because, not only do I love her, but I also have great reverence for her. Do you the men in your life revere you? Probably not.”
The cook gets angry again, pulls out her razor and says, “I’m gonna get you and that slutty girlfriend of yours!”
Finally, I lose my temper and say, “Prove that she is slutty. You can’t. And since you can’t, that means we can sue you for defamation of character, but you probably don’t have a penny to your name, anyway.”
The cook is speechless but angry.
The janitor, though trying to hide it has a wide smirk on his face.
He turns his radio back on, until the cook says, “Turn off that old, outdated, boring racket-it’s offensive to me.”
“It’s a free country; I don’t have to,” The janitor protests.
“Turn it off or I’m going to bust it over your head,” The cook threatens.
I get angry and then tell the cook, “I believe that’s considered aggravated criminal damage to property, which carries a sentence of up to fifteen years in this state. You’d probably catch an aggravated assault charge in addition to that because you’ve been flashing that razor blade of yours. It was all caught on camera but I’ll gladly testify against you as well!”
“Y’all are ganging up on me!” The cook says with ignorance and hatred.
“No, we just want you to leave us alone. Go back to looking at whatever meaningless garbage you were looking at on your phone and don’t talk to us again.”
“You are going to pay for disrespecting me like that.”
Finally, I activate the voice recorder feature on my Go Phone and say, “Go ahead, keep making threats because everything else you say will be recorded and turned over to the cops.”
The cook finally quiets down, after showing me the middle finger.
My watch’s timer feature begins beeping indicating that my fifteen minutes are up. As I leave the break area, I tell the cook off “Well, I can’t argue anymore with you because I have to get back to work. You ruined my break, but I’m sure you’re proud of yourself because you delight in bringing misery to everyone you meet.”
The janitor follows me from far behind. Then, he puts the radio in his assigned locker and on his way back to the warehouse, he tells me, “Thank you for standing up for me, my friend, I don’t like her either.”
“Does anyone like her?” I ask.
The janitor laughs heartily and then, says, “You remind me of a younger version of myself. I love my wife like you love your girlfriend. That’s why I took this disgusting job with these dirty people, so I can support her and my unborn child.”
We resume our working and I think about the janitor’s words.
I stock the shelves with dry goods diligently trying to keep my mind off of the potentially serious threats from the cook. My mind is filled with anxiety, until a gentleman comes up to me and asks, “Excuse me, young man, where might I find the remoulade sauce?”
“It’s hard to find, sir, so let me show you.”
“Thank you, I appreciate it.”
I locate it for him and he places several jars in his cart.
Afterward, I ask him, “Is there anything else we can help you find this evening?”
“Yes, actually I need to make an order in the seafood department for my meeting tonight, but no one is there right now. There are plenty of fresh fish under the glass that I want to purchase.”
“I’ll take care of that right away sir, just follow me.”
We walk to the seafood department. Upon arriving, I activate the public address system, and speak into the mouthpiece, “Customer service is needed in seafood.”
The gentleman and I converse while waiting for the seafood clerk to arrive.
He tells me, “Thank you for assisting me, young man. I wish everyone else was helpful, like you.”
“Thank you for your kind words, sir. I find helping customers to be more rewarding than just putting up dry goods all day and into the night.”
“They should promote you.”
“They never will. The good jobs here are given to those with connections, not competence.”
“That’s a shame man because you’re a good worker.”
“Thanks, that means a lot coming from someone like you.”
The gentleman smiles. We shake hands and continue conversing while still waiting for the seafood clerk to arrive.
Suddenly, the assistant store director begins yelling at me, “Get back to work! This company does not pay you eight dollars an hour to run your mouth with customers.”
I pat the gentleman on the shoulder and tell him, “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to go. The seafood clerk will arrive shortly.”
However, he stands up for me and says to my boss, “No, that’s not right at all. This young man is very helpful and took care of me-unlike anyone else. I think I’ll change my mind on making such a large seafood order tonight.”
The assistant store director pulls me aside and says, “You are most definitely getting written up for this incident and for disciplinary action, you will stock the entire boxed gelatin aisle all by yourself from now on.”
The gentleman overhears and is even angrier on my behalf as he says pushing away his loaded shopping cart, “Oh really, since you are going to treat him that way, I’m canceling my revolving credit account. Take me to customer service immediately!” The gentleman then tells me, “Good luck young man, I wish you could serve me again, but I’m not shopping here anymore and neither will any of my business partners.”
The store director looks at me with anger and says, “This disgusting incident will not be forgotten, I promise you that. Because of your subversive behavior, I’m going to make your life here a living hell. And if you quit it would greatly pleasure me to watch you struggle to find a job elsewhere in this economy.”
I sulk, then begin to stock the boxed gelatin filled with even more anxiety, not only about violence from the cook but also job security.
At dinner time I clock out and buy a cup of Senor Rico rice pudding and a pint bottle of Borden Milk. I sit on the terrace and think about my girlfriend. For once, I have the break area to myself but I am so filled with anxiety to enjoy the peace. All too quickly my dinner break ends and I clock back in.
The work is difficult and tedious, but finally, I have the shelves stocked. Now I need to front and block the whole aisle.
I see the janitor walking by and he tells me, “Go home and spend time with your girl, I’ll do this for you.”
“Don’t you have a family to go home to?” I ask him.
“No, I’m in the country all by myself, but I need to send all the money I can back home, so my wife can eat well and our baby will be healthy.”
He then shows me a picture on his phone of his pregnant wife in a nightgown and says, “Isn’t she beautiful when she glows? I can’t wait to be a poppa.”
I nod, then say, “All right, you may front and block for me.”
“Good, because the boss man went home for the evening, so this will be our little secret. Just remember to always love your girl and treat her right. If you do, she will bring you plenty of joy.”
I nod. We shake hands and I go clock out.
Finally, I leave the store, fire up my old Toyota and head to my girlfriend’s parents’ house in the suburbs.
Upon my arrival, we embrace and kiss under the glow of a street-lamp.
“Let’s go to your house,” She says looking at me with puppy dog eyes.
My job may be God awful, but the love my girlfriend gives me is worth it and so much more…